A new Energy Research Institutes Council for Australia (ERICA)

Thursday, August 17, 2017 — The directors of Australia’s major energy research institutes have announced the formation of a new Energy Research Institutes Council for Australia (ERICA) to provide research-led advice on the nation’s energy future.

The Council combines research expertise from the Universities of Queensland, Sydney, New South Wales, Monash, Melbourne, Adelaide and The Australian National University (ANU), as well as CSIRO.

The announcement was made alongside a Parliamentary hearing into Modernising Australia’s Electricity Grid, attended by a number of the research institutes.

The aim of the Council is to provide:

  • collective national capacity across a broad spectrum of cutting-edge energy research, in both specialised and inter-disciplinary fields;

  • high-level advice to government based on energy policy research;

  • an over-the-horizon perspective on future energy opportunities and challenges that can only be informed by cutting-edge research; and

  • a research touch point for industry and government on energy issues of national and international significance.

“To move Australia’s energy future forward, we need a plan - and the Council broadly supports the plan provided by the Finkel Review of the National Electricity Market,” Professor Ken Baldwin, Director of the ANU Energy Change Institute, told the Parliamentary hearing.

“The modernisation of our power grid is crucial if Australia is to transition to a low emissions future – and to take advantage of the new innovation it will generate,” said Professor Vassallo, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Energy Development at the University of Sydney.

Professor Michael Brear, Director of the Melbourne Energy Institute, said: “By pooling our universities’ expertise and resources, ERICA can make sure the best possible evidence-based research is available to industry and policy-makers when they are considering the future of Australia’s energy sector.”

Associate Professor Jacek Jasieniak, Director of the Monash Energy Materials and Systems Institute (MEMSI), said: “ERICA will be an independent expert Council that will balance the viewpoints of industry and government around Australia's energy related issues.”

Justine Jarvinen, Chief Operating Officer of the UNSW Future Energy Institute, said:  “ERICA will provide well-researched ideas for how to implement the recommendations of various energy market reviews, and will help to inform future energy sector developments generally.”

Professor Gus Nathan, Director of The University of Adelaide’s Centre for Energy Technology, said: “ERICA will make a valuable contribution to the national debate on energy by bringing together a collective view from leading independent experts throughout Australia.”


For further information please contact:

The Australian National University Energy Change Institute
Professor Ken Baldwin – 02 6125 4702; 0432 987 251
ANU media office – 02 6125 7979

University of Queensland Energy Initiative
Professor Chris Greig - 07 3346 3828; 0409 654 554

University of Sydney Centre for Sustainable Energy Development
Professor Tony Vassallo - 0408 667 095; 02 9351 6740

University of New South Wales Future Energy Institute
Justine Jarvinen - 02 9385 7434; 0400 061 140

Monash University Energy Materials and Systems Institute
Associate Professor Jacek Jasieniak – 03 9905 9584; 0402 094 311

Monash media office - 03 9903 4840

University of Melbourne Energy Institute
Professor Michael Brear - 0417 026 889; 03 8344 6722

University of Adelaide Centre for Energy Technology
Professor Gus Nathan - 0410 477 411; 08 8313 5822